WE ARE FOR YOU: Kathy Nolan with her portable oxygen machine the Chronicle helped advocate for.
WE ARE FOR YOU: Kathy Nolan with her portable oxygen machine the Chronicle helped advocate for. Alistair Brightman

NDIS VICTORY: We fought for Kathy

IT DIDN'T dawn on Kathy Nolan right away what it meant when her specialist signed the form to cash out her life insurance.

Having just turned 46, the Hervey Bay woman has already told her father she is going to die.

Kathy suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth and is in Type 2 respiratory failure.

When the Chronicle first met Kathy in September, she had been confined to her Pialba home for two years, trapped by the electricity-run oxygen machine she is unable to survive without.


All Kathy wanted to do with the time she has left was see the world, travel and volunteer in her beloved community.

Kathy Nolan needs a portable oxygen machine so that she's not house bound.
Kathy Nolan showing the Chronicle earlier in the year her oxygen concentrator which requires power, effectively rendering Kathy housebound. Alistair Brightman

A feat not possible without the funding for a portable oxygen machine run by batteries.

Hitting roadblocks and dead ends while dealing with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Kathy was told time and time again a portable oxygen machine did not come under the "reasonable and necessary" funding requirement.

Advocating on Kathy's behalf, the Fraser Coast Chronicle asked the State Minister for Disability Services and Seniors Coralee O'Rourke why it was not considered "reasonable or necessary" for Kathy to be able to leave her home.

Ms O'Rourke responded: "I was deeply disappointed to learn of the NDIA's failure to resolve Kathy's concerns and to assist her to access what most people would regard as reasonable and necessary supports."

Kathy Nolan with her portable oxygen machine.
Kathy Nolan with her portable oxygen machine. Alistair Brightman

Within a day of the response, the NDIA contacted Kathy and resolved her issues, agreeing to fund the machine that will allow her to go outside.

"I just feel so ecstatic. Little things like being able to go out to breakfast on a Sunday or attend church just mean the world," Kathy told the Chronicle.

Kathy has also been able to use the machine to travel to Brisbane to see specialists she was previously cut off from.

"It doesn't change the end prognosis but I have been able to get into a study which could give me a little more time," she said.

"I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way," she said.

Laughter for Lungs - Kathy Nolan and Lyndell Webb.
Kathy Nolan with Southern Cross Support Services's Lyndell Webb promoting 'Laughter is the best medicine' fundraiser on November 30 which will be held at the Hervey Bay Neighborhood Centre. Cody Fox

Kathy is holding a fundraiser to support her on-going medical costs and to fulfil her travel dreams.

Laughter is the Best Medicine is on November 30 at the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, featuring the comedy of Anne Ferguson Howe and Geoff Stern. Tickets are available from Southern Cross Support Service for $35.